Fondul Proprietatea (FP) could obtain this year special dividends worth 314 million lei, in the context in which the state would request dividends of 1.9 billion lei for the three important companies in the portfolio of FP – Hidroelectrica, Nuclearelectrica and Bucharest Airports.
Johan Meyer, CEO of Franklin Templeton Investments and fund manager, Fondul Proprietatea believes the budget deficit left behind by the former government is far too large, so the new Liberal government will have to demand additional budget dividends from state-owned companies to cover the deficit.
“The fact that the government will need to deal with a larger budget deficit could cause it to turn to state-owned companies to approve larger dividends to fill the holes in the budget. It will not solve the problem, but it will make a significant contribution,” Meyer said. He argues that state-owned companies have plenty of cash available, without making major investments, and special dividends would not affect their financial position.
He claims that the cash position (own funds) of Hidroelectrica is much too large, of 2.5 billion lei, with which not too many investments have been made, another 100 million lei being generated monthly in the company’s deposits, so that even in the case of a privatization, Hidroelectrica can also support special dividends, without affecting its market price. “The investment plan is by no means fulfilled,” Meyer said.